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This article, Departure to the Dunes, is property of Ten Tailed Fox

This article, Departure to the Dunes, was added by Silver-Haired Seireitou who determines its usage on this wiki.

Previously: The Beginning...

"Why is the snow white?", That question resounded in Koga Tensei's young mind the rest of the night. No answer would come to him no matter how hard he thought, so finally he gave into sleep. He arose early the next morning and met his squad at the doors to the Temple. Renge and Haruko were having a shouting match over why there are no real trees in Hueco Mundo, a totally pointless topic, yet Koga knew that those two would fight over the color of the sky if it came down to it. He ignored them, instead he began looking for Seireitou, who wasn't present yet.

Within another hour, Seireitou had appeared at the top of the gate pillar. "Hey guys. Sorry I'm late, just got lost on the road of life~" he justified his lateness with.

Both Renge and Haruko continued arguing, but pointed their fingers at Seireitou, sending him telekinetically flying in a comical gesture of their rage. Koga just shook his head and smirked.

Seireitou appeared a few seconds later, a slightly annoyed face carved in his facial expression. After all that was said and done, Ken'ichi also showed up, yawning alittle. Seireitou clapped his hands together joyfully, "Alrighty! The gang's all here. Now then, Haruko-chan. Open up a Garganta and let's get goin'."

Haruko nodded silently and opened up a large Garganta and leaped in, forming a path as she walked. Soon after, Renge and Koga leaped into the Garganta to follow her.

Arrival in Hueco Mundo[]

As Seireitou and Ken'ichi also entered, the group had ran on reiatsu trails that led them to the far end of the exitting portal, as the five jumped out. The white sands of the depressing stronghold of the Hollow was as pale and dry as always. Seireitou walked out a few feet, a large structure caught his attention in shock. "What the...-" he eyed Las Noches, a structure that he and Ryan Getsueikirite supposidly destroyed in their fight long ago when Sei turned traitor. "-how is... How is Las Noches still standing, in mint condition?" he asked.

Koga was also shocked, but not nearly as shocked as Renge and Haruko. "Impossible. Absolutely impossible. Las Noches was destroyed years ago. To rebuild a structure of this size in such little time...." Renge exclaimed.

Seireitou sighed, and closed his eyes, "We have company." he stated, as he bent his knees down just alittle. Two newly-met Arrancar had flashed in front of the five intruders, staring down them.

Renge, Haruko, and Koga's eyes widened and they quickly gripped thier blades, "Crap! When did they-?!" Koga exclaimed.

The first Arrancar was of middle height, bearing a large blade in his hand, as the other one was tall, but didn't seem to be holding a weapon. Seireitou smirked, "Judging by their reiatsu levels, I figure Koga can handle this one alone." He then spoke up, "Koga! You got this one." he called out.

"Just my luck." he thought. With one telekinetic push, he sent the Arrancar sprawling several feet into the dunes away from the group. "That should do." With that, he launched himself over to fight the beast.

Both Arrancar took the full brunt of it, though the tall one had used a reiryoku barrier to shield most of the brunt of the attack. The medium-height one had drawn his Zanpakutō, ready to do battle with Koga. Seireitou had kept watch, and narrowed hie eyes, "Something's strange here... Arrancar don't attack unless provoked... or ordered... and not only that, but if someone ordered them... why didn't they ambush us instead of making them known...?"

Koga v.s. the Arrancar[]

Koga drew his own blade, causing it's sheathe to burn up. "Here we go." he muttered softly, attacking the Arrancar from the side. The clash of blades rang out in the night skies of Hueco Mundo.

As Seireitou's group witnessed this collison, a sudden appearance of another Arrancar is revealed behind Seireitou. The latter quickly turns in shock to see this newcomer, in absolute shock, "What the...?! He slipped through my senses?! That was no Sonido..." he roared in his mind.

Renge leaped in between Seireitou and the Arrancar and shoved the latter back, preventing him from harming the group leader. He also drew his zanpakutō, "That was almost too quick." he thought.

The Arrancar stared down at Haruko, and disappeared. He soon reappeared a few feet away, holding Haruko over his shoulder. "I'll be borrowing this." he claimed. Both Seireitou and Renge drew their blades, prepared to cut down the Arrancar, as the latter teleported away, both of their attacks hitting nothing but the sand. "He... got away...!" a shocked Seireitou began to think. The Arrancar battling Koga had been defeated within that same moment.

Koga reappeared at the site of Seireitou and Renge, "Darn it! I didn't make it in time." he cursed. "Haruko-chan..."

Seireitou stood silent and closed his eyes, "I don't get this... the enemy's actions thus far seem ridiculous... Why would they kidnap someone even when we have enough reason to enter Las Noches...?" he pondered. Ken'ichi stepped up, and scratched his mess of a hairstyle. "Perhaps whoever our enemy is, wants to give us a reason not to ask for backup..?" he questioned.

"No." Koga said, putting his zanpakutō back in it's place. "They have turned our mission back on us. We wanted to lure them to us, and now they want to lure us to them, by using Haruko-shishō as bait."

"In any event... we'll need to infiltrate the building now." Ken'ichi confessed, looking at the others. Seireitou resheathed his sword, and smirked, "It's quite strange. I was expecting this new Arrancar leader to be more easy-going... to put a plan into action so quickly... they must be threatened by our arrival."

Koga narrowed his eyes, "Perhaps. Either that, or they want a group of Seijin to test themselves with. Let's pray that it's your idea Sei, and not mine." he said walking to the top of one of the dunes and looking out at Las Noches. "What's the attack plan." Renge asked, turning to Seireitou.

Seireitou looked into the sand, "Those Arrancar were able to approach us completely void of alertion. They must have used tunnels near the midway of the Menos Forest and Hueco Mundo's horizen. Therefore, I recommend we split up. Me, Koga... and Ken'ichi, Renge. Me and Koga will take the high ground, you and Ken'ichi take the low ground."

"Understood!" both Koga and Renge shouted at the same time, getting with their appointed partner.

The Split: To Las Noches We Go![]

The two groups took their leave, as Seireitou and Koga began their rush for Las Noches.

Renge took Ken'ichi and leaped under the dunes, heading for Menos Forest. Meanwhile, in the dunes up above, Seireitou and Koga were also on the move. "Ugh..I doesn't matter how far we run, it doesn't seem to get any closer. That thing must be absolutely tremendous!" he yelled. As he ran, his robe flapped and a vague outline seemed to surround him as if linking him to a person long dead.

Seireitou's eyes journied to Koga, witnessing the similarities between him and an old friend, resulting in a smirk on the former's part. Seireitou payed heed over to the structure and halted. "Koga... tell me something. Do you know any barrier kidō?"

"A few, why?" Koga asked, halting his movement despite Las Noches distance from them.

Seireitou grinned softly, hiding a hand behind his back. "Prepare one, and one that provides alot of ricochet action." he suggested.

Koga slapped his hands together and within a few seconds, green energy radiated around the two Seijin, encompassing them in a giant green barrier with several support barriers. "Fire at will, Master." he shouted over the roar of the energy.

Seireitou smiled, and held his leg back, then kicking the front of the barrier with an impressive kick, propelling them at an incredible rate toward the large structure.

The momentum forced Koga back yet he still managed to scream, "Epic horse race!!!" at the top of his lungs before falling backwards on his head.

Within the seconds they had flown, they crashed into the front gates of Las Noches. "Whew... We made it." commented Seireitou.

Koga picked himself out of the dunes and dusted himself off, "You see. This is why they don't give you a driver's licence when we go the Real World."

Seireitou stood up, not before laughing at Koga's comment. He walked over to the door and knocked comically, "Anybody hoooooome~?"

Ambush[]

A Cero blast interrupted Seireitou's comical entrance. A group of Gillian-class Menos had emerged from the sands, lead by a barely humanoid Arrancar which was headed their direction. "Great." muttered Koga, drawing his blade once more.

Seireitou looked over to the Arrancar and smirked. "Koga... you take care of the small-fry. I'll take care of the tough guy o'er here." he planned.

Koga nodded and flashed off into the middle of the group of Gillians, "Don't worry. You all won't burn for too long." he mocked the roaring group of mindless Hollows as he began his attack.

Seireitou smiled softly, disappearing as he reappeared in front of the presumed leader of this ambush. "Well well, looks like I got lucky. Tell me, Arrancar-san... Who's your leader?"

The Arrancar smirked, as if he was sure he would win, "Since you will probably be Hollow food after this, I will give you a hint. He is the only one in Soul Society whom was known to receive and even give physical beatings to and from Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and barely feel it." the Arrancar said, drawing it's sword. Meanwhile, Koga was blasting Menos Grande with his Akenami blast, incinerating one after another.

Scratching his head at this, Seireitou thought for a second. "Oh...? That strong huh? Well, perhaps it won't be as easy as I originally thought." he pondered. He drew his Zanpakutō, and held it up, aimed at the Arrancar.

The Arrancar scoffed and fired a large red Cero at Seireitou. Koga had finished with the last Gillian and now turned to watch Seireitou's battle continue with the weak-leveled Arrancar.

Making a swift motion, Seireitou tilted his blade off to the right, as the Cero reflected right off of it, crashing into a dune of sand, the sand falling down like an avalanche, surrounding both Seireitou and the Arrancar.

The sound of the roaring sand muffled the sound of the Arrancar shouting it's release command. When the sand stopped falling, however, a giant lion-like figure stood before Seireitou, using sonido to close the gap and fire a point blank Bala at the silver-haired Shinigami.

Quickly responding, Seireitou immediately sidestepped to the right, though the sudden bala chipped his left shoulder. As he backed up, he let go of a nonverbal Kidō that trapped the Arrancar, freezing him in his tracks. "Yare Yare... So quick to rush in, you are." he commented.

Suddenly the Arrancar was cut in two, causing an eruption of blood as it dissolved into thin air. Behind where it was just standing, was a tall muscular Arrancar with long blueish-silver hair. "How dare you attack Sora-sama's guests." he muttered to the now dead Arrancar.

Appearance of a New Arrancar: Introducing the Arrancar Five[]

Seireitou looked up at the newcomer, and sighed softly, "Looks like... the big leagues have started their move..."

The large Arrancar folded his arms as his long hair blew in the harsh desert winds, "One Shinigami. Two Shinigami." he began counting. "So there are four of you here. Two here and two in the Forest of Menos." he mumbled to himself, observing his two guests. "I suppose you've come to our fortress for the girl. Well they certainly sent the wrong crew. One of you hasn't been so responsible with saving certain female teammates in the past, have you?" the large Arrancar asked, seemingly glaring at Seireitou through his mask.

A sudden jolt of anger, fear, regret, several negative emotions jolted through Seireitou's heart in one instant. However, quickly faded away. Seireitou narrowed his eyes at the Arrancar, "W... What do you imply by that, Arrancar?"

"You know full well, don't you, Kawahiru." the Arrancar mused, shocking Koga with his knowledge of Seireitou's name. "Ah, yes. My master told me all about that Shiori girl. Made it sound like it was your fault too. Why would they send a failure like you to come and save this Seijin woman?"

With the sudden verbal address of Shiori's name, Seireitou fell to his knees. "Why... Why does he... how does he kn...-" he pondered, being being overcome in guilt, still hearing Shiori's voice ringing in his ears as he fell unconcious, his face falling onto the white sands.

"Seireitou!" Koga yelled, attempting to flash towards his friend to help out. He was met by the enormous Arrancar, whom swung his giant fist at Koga, knocking the breath out of him and sending him flying into the dunes of Hueco Mundo. He then turned back to the body of Seireitou, "Get up, Shinigami. I can feel your reiatsu growing."

Seireitou's Transformation...[]

Seireitou's body remained frozen, as he conscience was slowly slipping from his spirit. A sudden darkness fell in his thoughts, as images of Shiori came to his darkened silent mind. "Shiori... she's... she's calling me..." The event that caused her death was played over and over in his thoughts. "She's... calling me... get up... get up... get up...!" In the real world, Seireitou's body was slowly being devoured by an immense lavender spiritual energy. "Get up...!" "Shiori... I will protect you...!!" An explosion resulted in the vicinity of Seireitou's body, surprising both Zacarias and Koga. There, Seireitou stood in a beastal appearance. His face was replaced with a lavender canvas made entirely of sapphire, as his entire body is now encased in. He also has retractable crystal claws on his fingertips and toes, small furry black tufts, and long fox ears that appear to be solid crystal and stand upwards, similar to that of horns. Behind him, it is shown that he possesses a long crystal tail, almost exact in appearance to a fox's, but much longer in comparison. His eyes are no longer visible, but replaced by a pair of glowing crimson lenses that serve as eyes. This new Seireitou loomed over, turning it's attention to Zacarias.

Zacarias stared at Seireitou, clearly interested, "How interesting. So this is Hollowfication at it's finest." he muttered to himself. "The Espada that came long before me faced a similar threat. I believe it's name was Ulquiorra. I will not make the same mistake as was made in the past." he thought as he closely watched the strange new Seireitou. Slowly, Zacarias released his reiatsu around him.

The new state of Seireitou faced Zacarias, and immediately let out a roar of anger, blasting Koga even further from the battle site. As Koga flew away like a paper to the wind, Seireitou immediately spun his sword via telekinesis, as he disappeared. The very next instant, mili-second, that very moment... Seireitou had reappeared, his blade right to Zacarias's neck, prepared to completely decapitate him as a massive burst of reiatsu had exerted from that collision.

Zacarias caught sight of this and used his sonido to slip below Seireitou to the dunes below. "No need to attack it. At this rate, I don't need to attack until I have a good enough opening. Until then, however, I can access his hollowfication."

Koga slowly drew himself out of the sand and looked on from below the fighting. Zacarias noticed this and slowly turned his head to Koga, "Looks like even you Seijin are capable of giving into your guilt...and your hatred." he accused, turning back to the Hollowfied Seireitou.

Koga gritted his teeth, "No...Sei would never give in to hatred. ..Would he?"

Wasting no time, Seireitou had revealed the results of his transformation. He contracted the space between him and Zacarias, quickly appearing and slashing away at the Arrancar's body.

Zacarias blocked with his elbow, allowing his hierro to take the blows one after another, "Such force behind your blows. If not for my hierro, this would indeed be a tough battle." he said. With a large kick, he managed to push himself back from close quarters. "I think I'm starting to figure out how to defeat this thing. It has immense power, but it's still reliant on one thing and that's what I'll go for."

Suddenly, with a roar, Seireitou's Zanpakutō was bathed in a dense lavender reiryoku aura. At the same time, a large Cero Lamparos was formed between his crystalized fox ears, as it was launched with devasatating results.

Zacarias put out his hand, quickly charging and firing a silver-colored Cero from his palm which collided with the Cero Lamparos, causing a sizable eruption that canceled out the two Cero. "Now, the zanpakutō." he said in his head, using Sonido to appear right in front of the beast. His reiatsu field caused the energy on the beast's zanpakutō to cease and he threw a devastating punch right for the beast's mask.

Seireitou, or rather this beast form of himself, had allowed the punch to make contact, but little effect did it have. With merely spiritual force alone, Zacarias felt his hand's knuckles slowly shatter as he moved back. Seireitou made no wasted movement, as he jumped at high-speeds at the Arrancar, grabbing hold of his arm. The blade of Seireitou swung down, chopping off the Arrancar's arm right off like a hot knife through butter.

Zacarias looked halfway annoyed. His arm promptly, though slowly, regenerated; clothes and all. "Interesting. Your strength improved. Don't try it again. My hierro won't permit it the second time. You see, like the former Espada, we Arrancar Five all represent an Aspect of Death. Mine is rejection. My arm didn't regenerate due to my Hollow powers, but instead due to my power of rejection. No injury you give me will kill me. Even my internal organs can be restored. Don't get me wrong, I'm not immortal, but you cannot touch me with your strength." he explained. He released his reiatsu and the mask of the beast's form began to dissolve, "I don't know what you are, but you cannot deny rejection. It happens to all of us."

However, despite the logic of it all, the mask stayed on, and immediately backlashed on Zacarias, causing part of his own Hollow mask to dissolve. This event left the Arrancar in shock, as the beast prompted to charge yet another massive Cero in-between it's crystal ears. With a deafening roar, the cero was launched, resulting in a large-scale destruction.

A sliver blast broke through the giant Cero, and Zacarias emerged with his mask back to normal, "I see there is no way to reason with you. You are more mindless than you were before." he said. Soon, Koga appeared beside the two fighters and telekinetically connected to Seireitou's mind, "Sei! Snap out of it! That Hollow of yours is going to kill more of your loved ones if you don't reign it in!" he mentally shouted.

There was silence within Seireitou's mind, as the sound of Shiori's death had continued to be resounded within him. The beast had prepared to step forward, as a katana-like blade had been thrust through Seireitou's body, by an unknown arrival.

Both Zacarias and Koga looked shocked as the blade dripped the blood of the Hollowfied Seireitou. "You allow the girl's death to control you too much. It's time to move on. This isn't the way of the Seijin, Seireitou." said a voice from behind.

Tōkaru Appears...![]

The man who had cut down Seireitou was Tōkaru Mokushima, a fellow Seijin Master. Koga was shocked by his enterance, as Zacarias looked somewhat annoyed. Tōkaru appeared in front of Seireitou with an impressive flash step. "The blade in your chest is the Blade of Fallen Truth. Junsu-jii had developed it with a strange ceremonial Kidō, as if he anticipated this event to occur." the master explained, as Seireitou's crystalized state began to shed, revealing his normal self as he fell toward the sand below. "Koga!" called Tōkaru, "Carry Seireitou to safety. I'll drive this guy back, and we'll catch up with the others." he ordered, preparing to face this Arrancar himself.

Koga got up, preparing to retrieve Seireitou. "I don't think so." a voice said, coming from the roof of Los Noches. On top stood a tall Shinigami with slick blue hair. "None of you are going anywhere just yet." the man said. Zacarias bowed in mid air, "Welcome, Sora-sama."

Tōkaru looked up, slightly in surprise, but also in indifference. "Well. Judging by that high spiritual force, I'm guessin' you're the mastermind behind the rebels and this Fancy French dude." he asked, obviously poking fun to Zacarias's appearance.

Takashi Sora did not look amused, nor did he humor the man, "You Seijin are a little too late. One thousand years too late, to be precise. But then again, compared to me, you lot are still in the realm of children's games." he said, looking down at Seireitou. "Seems he never can control himself. He treats death as such a negative thing, yet his would be the most positive thing to happen."

Koga gritted his teeth in anger, "How dare he talk about Sei-san like that!"

At this, Tōkaru grinned. "Would that be because you realize, as Master Junsui-jii realized, that this child in your eyes, is the key to destroying you?" he smiled softly. "You know, when you Arrancar Five attacked us in the years prior, you hit us with a sledgehammer. This raid, even if it makes it through, it'll only be a pinprick... but it'll be straight through your pride." he declared, looking back down at a sealed Seireitou.

"This child, my undoing?" Sora asked, almost beginning to chuckle, "Perhaps the vision of the Seijin was more diluted than I thought. This 'raid', if that's what you could ever call such a failed attack, is only happening because my Arrancar revealed themselves. Even the dimwit that is lying unconscious down there knows that Arrancar only attack when provoked or ordered. How can you Shinigami-what was the word you used? Pinprick?-pinprick a plan that has been in development for one thousand years by simply arriving. Your master Junsui was born after me, it is impossible for even he to have forseen all of this." he cackled. "It was nice of you to try and intimidate me, young Tōkaru, but it appears you are only stalling for time."

Tōkaru paid almost no heed to Sora's speech, but merely smirked. "It's quite funny, given your use of the word Shinigami. You sound almost hypocritical, Sora-jii. Junsu-jii was born after you, this is correct. However...-" he closed his eyes, smiling softly. He then opened his eyes, showing off a bright smile, "There is such a thing as too old." he proclaimed, as he drew his Zanpakutō.

"Perhaps then, you should kill me now and end all of your strife." Sora smirked, drawing his own sword. Aizen's reiatsu began to fill the area, though he wasn't present, causing Koga to gasp at it's sheer volume. "This is incredible. He's in a league of his own!" the young Seijin thought.

Aiming his sword for Sora, Tōkaru began to ponder. "I'm no fool... his power far surpasses my own. However..." he began, as he raised his blade up. "I'm not gonna just roll over and die." he personally proclaimed, as he called out, "Getsuga Tenshō!" A sudden burst of cerulean reiryoku had completely crashed into the sand, creating a massive blanket of sand that made visibility impossible. As the sand slowly began to clear away, both Sora and Zacarias had noticed Tōkaru no longer being there, the same being said for Seireitou's body and Koga.

Elsewhere, Tōkaru was shown to have used a massive flash step to escape the keen eye of Sora. They had retreated to the far reaches of the Hueco Mundo desert. "Wheeeeeeew. That was a close 'un." remarked Tōkaru.

Escape from Sora[]

Slowly, Koga recovered his normal personality. "Wow, I never expected things to go that far. He's more powerful than I was expecting." the boy muttered, looking at the still sleeping Seireitou. "Still, we've got to do something. Renge and Ken'ichi are in the Forest of Menos heading right for Las Noches and I doubt a sand smokescreen will keep us hidden for long."

Suddenly, the orange-haired head of Ken'ichi popped out of the ground. "Yo." he simply said, causing Koga to fall over comically in fear and surprise. "I told you we took a wrong turn!" Ken'ichi yelled, not before being launched out from his position, for the head of Renge to then appear. However, Ken'ichi then fell down, crashing into Renge. Tōkaru drew a blank face, at the stupidity at the people he came to know as teammates.

Renge shoved Ken'ichi off of him and drew himself out of the dunes, "You act like it's my fault you can't read directions. I told you to take that left turn after we slaughtered those Gillians, but no. We had to go the completely opposite direction." Renge shouted comically, shaking the sand off of himself.

Regaining seriousness to the situation, Tōkaru took control of the conversation. "Nevertheless, it's a stroke of good luck that you ended up here. Heading to Las Noches would have gotten you killed." he explained.

"I sensed it as well. You guys are lucky to be alive." Renge replied.

Tōkaru sheathed his blade, and looked over to Renge. "So... where's Haruko-san?"

Renge gritted his teeth, "She was taken from us during the initial attack..."

"You don't mean..." Tōkaru suggested, before he closed his eyes. "Let us pray for our fallen Seijin."

The group closed their eyes. Koga, however, could not focus. His reiatsu had begun to fluctuate too rapidly. Nevertheless, he managed to say his prayers as did Renge, and then opened his eyes. "What's the plan now?" Koga asked.

Tōkaru sighed softly, opening his eyes. "Going back will spell only certain death for us. We should head back, alert Junsu-jii of our findings, and plan a counter."

"We can't even do that. Haruko was our Garganta user. Sei could do it, but he's out of commission for awhile." Koga explained. Renge nodded, "And with all the energy I've expended fighting those hordes of Menos from below, it's impossible for me to punch a hole in the dimensions. We're stuck here for awhile."

Tōkaru scratched his head for a second. "Well... we're boned. Unless..." he formulated. Tōkaru turned to face Renge, "Renge, perhaps if we trap a Menos, we can force it to summon a Garganta?"

Renge nodded, "That could work. So I guess that means we're going back to the forest of Menos."

Tōkaru raise his blade upwards, "Then let's do this." he said, slamming his blade down, sending off a massive Getsuga Tenshō as it created a massive crater of sand, as the entire group fell into the dark depths.

Finding the Way Home: Into the Menos Forest[]

Oddly enough, the forest was relatively silent upon thier arrival. Renge found the silence to be disturbing, "There were hordes of Menos down here earlier. I know we didn't kill them all. I can't even sense the Adjuchas-level Menos." he said, looking all around him.

Tōkaru kneeled down, and tapped the floor, as if scoping out the area. "Perhaps Sora is aware of our plan...?"

Renge became alert, "If that's true, then we don't have much time before we have company. And I'm not referring to the Menos." he said.

With a quick draw of his blade, Tōkaru quickly jumped up to the top of a large tree, watching out into the distance for invasion.

When nothing came, Renge began to get edgy, "Perhaps we should just figure out a plan of attack against Sora, or something." Renge proposed, breaking the silence.

To Be Continued...

Next Time: Crisis
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